Two Nakumatt bodies still unidentified

April 2, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 2 – Two bodies of the victims of Nakumatt fire tragedy are yet to be identified after the second line of DNA testing.

Chief government pathologist Moses Gachoki said on Thursday that DNA samples of the two remains did not match samples from those who had presented themselves as relatives.

“We have completely done the profiles of the remains but we have not got the relatives. It is not that they have not been identified,” Mr Gachoki said.

“So what we are appealing is if there are other people there who had relatives, they come out. We have identified all the bodies as per the DNA.”

He told a press conference that the identification process for the victims of the Kiambaa church arson (in last year’s post election violence) should begin immediately and the process should take a month to complete.

“We are starting to work on the Kiambaa remains as soon as I leave this place and we expect the results to be out within a month or less,” he said.

“We have been having the samples. What I am waiting for is just the signal to start the test.”

Meanwhile, more than Sh120 million is needed to construct a 20-room burns unit at the Nakuru District Hospital, the Molo/Nakumatt Fire Victims Fund Management Committee said on Thursday.

Committee Chairman Naushad Merali said that this is part of a move by the government to ensure the country has adequate capacity to handle future fire related disasters, and not only rely on facilities at the Kenyatta National Hospital.

“We as a committee are also looking towards seeing if Nakuru Hospital, where we have no Burns Unit, we should get something done for a Unit to be put there; because that’s an area where you have accidents very many times such as bus accidents and such like,” he expressed.

The two fires, which happened only days apart, left the burns facility at the national referral hospital overstretched as it had to handle more than 153 casualties.

“In the country we have 20 rooms at the KNH and we had so many more patients so they had to be accommodated in different hospitals.”

Mr Merali told reporters that secondment of the burns experts and assorted medical supplies from the Gujarat state in India and the European Union to assist the fire victims, had led the committee to review the earlier target of Sh150 million.

“We were originally looking at the 150 million shillings then when we received the medical supplies. Our target is now to look for the 120 (million) to be able to assist the balance of the funds in putting up the burns unit.”

He was speaking while receiving a Sh5 million donation from the Safaricom Foundation; where the Foundation Chairman Les Baillie appealed to other corporates to assist in raising the deficit.

“All companies and the government have to act as proper corporate citizens; to protect your staff, customers and the general public and at times maybe we forget about those issues. We need to put our hands in our pockets we need help the less fortunate,” said the businessman.

The committee has so far been able to raise Sh111 million and is set to wrap up its operations by the end of the month.

Mr Merali said all the affected families were to receive 50,000 shillings.

“At present we are making sure that each if the families that either lost their loved one or if suffered any injuries are given Sh50,000, in total they are about 300”.


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